The Tatler 10: Jessi Chloe Chen & Aria Chau of ANDRSN Flowers
With Mother’s Day right around the corner, orders for bouquets are running high—so it's no coincidence we chose Jessi Chloe Chen and Aria Chau for this week's Tatler 10, our weekly column featuring Hong Kong's new generation of entrepreneurs.
Changing up the flower game in Hong Kong, one flower at a time, their latest venture ANDRSN Flowers has proven to be a hit for striking the right medium between reasonable pricing, fresh Australia-imported flowers and a chic finish.
We asked Chen and Chau about what ANDRSN Flowers means to them and what they love most about working together and running their own business:
1) What does Hong Kong mean to you?
Aria Chau (AC): We’ve both spent half our lives between Hong Kong and Melbourne, so I think we’ve always seen both as home. But being back for over seven years now, Hong Kong has definitely become our base where we see ourselves staying for the indefinite future.
Jessi Chloe Chen (JC): Hong Kong is home now. It’s one big melting pot of culture and is really the perfect balance between East meets West. It’s actually great for budding entrepreneurs—it’s tough, gritty and filled with opportunity. I always say, "If you can survive here, you can survive anywhere."
2) Summarise your business in one sentence.
Founded on a lifelong friendship and a love of flowers and chic, minimalist design; ANDRSN is a bespoke service that delivers customised, treasured expressions of appreciation, love and care in the form of beautifully boxed Australian roses.
See also: The Tatler 10 with June Lau
3) What is your proudest accomplishment?
JC: I think we’d both have to say ANDRSN. We have other businesses and projects we’re involved in, but ANDRSN is our first passion project and something we personally created out of mutual interest. It’s important to invest more in the things and people you love.
AC: Yes, definitely ANDRSN and my family. I’m nine months pregnant, so my son will be my proudest accomplishment to date very soon!
4) What do you love most about running your own business?
AC: I love that we’re able to put a smile on people’s faces and provide our clients with a beautiful product that helps them celebrate love and life. Apart from being surrounded by gorgeous roses all day, I love working with my best friend.
JC: Don’t make me cry! I also love the creative freedom involved with having our own business. Planting those initial seeds of a concept or idea, and then seeing them come to life is the most rewarding feeling ever.
5) What advice can you offer budding entrepreneurs?
JC: Your vision should be big, but start small. Set reasonable benchmarks, then knock them off one by one until you reach that end goal. And have fun while you’re at it!
AC: If you have a great idea that fills a gap in the market, then find the right partner(s) that complement your skill set and just go for it! Hong Kong is a great place for start-ups and welcomes plenty of new innovative business ideas.
6) As an entrepreneur, what do you think sets your business apart from the competition?
AC: We want to help our customers solve a problem and offer them something that’s not readily available in our market. With the current floral offerings in Hong Kong, there were either very high-end designer flowers (reflected in the price tag) or more affordable options without the design element. I think we’ve found that sweet spot between the two.
JC: Our product is simple and easy to understand yet customisable. When building our platform, the goal was to make the buying process as smooth as possible with minimal steps to purchase. With life in Hong Kong being so hectic, we wanted to give our customers a seamless experience when ordering flowers for their loved ones.
7) Who inspires you and why?
JC: I would have to say my friends and peers—I’m lucky to be surrounded by so many entrepreneurial minds. There’s always a new project someone is working on, whether it's a new restaurant, a new app, a new product launch. It’s exciting and only pushes you to want to do more.
AC: My godmother is inspirational to me, I grew up with her and she is one of the most compassionate people I know. She takes the good with the bad and always sees the best in everyone. I think this is essential to happiness.
JC: And my mum too, of course. We’d be lost without our mothers!
8) Looking back do you wish you had done anything differently?
AC: No. I'm happy to say I don't have any regrets. I think every mistake or hurdle is a learning curve. And to be honest, we haven’t made any major wrong moves with ANDRSN so far—fingers crossed!
JC: Agreed. People have said it a thousand times, but it’s true! You learn from your mistakes. It’s what builds character and how you evolve as a person. Change is good; own it.
See also: The Tatler 10 with Vicky Lau
9) What’s your end goal?
JC: From a business perspective, the focus is of course on financial return. The fundamentals are to make money with that promise of financial freedom. But it’s important to figure out where your limits are and to aim to hit that dollar within a finite amount of time.
Time really is the biggest investment we make, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. Ultimately though, the goal is beyond profit—we just want to spend more time doing the things we love with the people we love. Love and happiness are all anyone really wants.
10) What are your words to live by?
AC: The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy. It's all that matters.
JC: “Be good. Don’t be an assh*le.”
VisitANDRSN flowers to learn more.